“That’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back.” This is a common refrain I’ve heard muttered for the past thirty years. Poorly managed meetings are the bane of everyone’s existence. At their worst, they resemble the absurdity of this year’s political debates.
People are frustrated by too many meetings, too many people in meetings who aren’t contributing, meetings that go on to long, meetings that are poorly run, people who show up late or not at all and finally people who are doing other work during meetings.
These bad behaviors have become so pervasive that everyone accepts it as the norm. And yet in today’s time crunched corporate culture no one is taking a stand to put an end to the meeting madness. And maybe, taking a stand is what’s needed.
Here are 3 meetings hacks you can put into practice today:
There is a team at Leo Burnett that conducts their status meetings standing in a circle. It’s amazing to watch and listen how efficiently they move through the agenda and still have time to laugh.
This is best done with two to three people during seasonable weather. Recently, I was at Discover in Riverwoods and observed clusters of people walking and talking around their corporate campus. It’s a great way to enjoy the warmer weather and get out from behind the conference table.
When scheduling a meeting in most applications, such as Outlook, the default is one hour. Ergo, the meeting’s agenda expands to fill the 60 minutes whether it’s needed or not. This can chew up a lot of time. Next time, schedule a 30-minute meeting using a detailed agenda that focuses on actionable items.
Meetings can reign supreme by employing a few simple meeting hacks.